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Google: 10,000 to tackle extremist online content

Logos of US technology company Google displayed on computer screens. (AFP)
LONDON: Google is set to create a team of 10,000 people who will be tasked with removing extremist, violent and predatory content posted on YouTube.
Susan Wojcicki, CEO of Google-owned YouTube said it would be expanding its team of moderators as she admitted that “bad actors” were “exploiting our openness to mislead, manipulate, harass or even harm.”
In recent weeks YouTube has been widely condemned for the availability of Daesh propaganda on the site and for videos featuring children in abuse situations.
Wojcicki said efforts to tackle extremism on the site had already seen ‘tremendous progress.”
“In the last year, we took actions to protect our community against violent or extremist content, testing new systems to combat emerging and evolving threats. We tightened our policies on what content can appear on our platform, or earn revenue for creators. We increased our enforcement teams,” the CEO wrote on her company blog.
Over the past six months, more than 150,000 videos of violent extremism have been removed, she added. The CEO said machine learning is helping human reviewers remove nearly five times as many videos than they were previously.
“Now, we are applying the lessons we’ve learned from our work fighting violent extremism content over the last year in order to tackle other problematic content. Our goal is to make it harder for policy-violating content to surface or remain on YouTube,” Wojcicki wrote.
YouTube has faced a backlash over the distribution and monetization of inappropriate content –something that Wojcicki acknowledged by saying that it had been “a difficult year.”
She said the company would now be taking a new approach to advertising, and would be “significantly ramping up” its team of advert reviewers to ensure adverts only run where they should.

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